Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. First edition first printing hardback, 1996, with unclipped jacket a touch rubbed. Black cloth boards clean and crisp. Internally clean. Binding tight and appears almost unopened; no annotation or inscriptions.
The painter, Vincent van Gogh (1853-90) was also an accomplished writer, and this collection of his letters provides both a self-portrait and a picture of the contemporary cultural scene. The book includes complete letters wherever possible, linked with passages of connecting narrative and showing all the pen-and-ink sketches that originally went with them. The familiar image of Van Gogh as an anti-social madman is questionned in this book as the letters show the humanitarian and religious causes he embraced, his fascination with the French revolution, his striving for God and for ethical ideals, his desperate courtship of his cousin and his unsuccessful search for love. Not only does this serve to demolish some of the myths about Van Gogh but it shows him as a human being, not just an artist. The letters also reveal Van Gogh's conflicts as a painter, torn between realism, symbolism and abstraction. He received little feedback from the public and wrote at length to his family and friends and above all, to his brother Theo, who was his confidant.